The EA-18G Growler is an airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases. The Growler has been developed as a replacement for the United States Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft which entered service in 1971 and is approaching the end of operational life.
The Growler is a derivative of the combat-proven two-seat F/A-18 Hornet, the US Navy’s maritime strike aircraft. The aircraft missions are mainly electronic attack (EA) and suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD), particularly at the start and on-going early stages of hostilities.
The Growler aircraft has 11 weapon stations for carrying electronic mission systems and weapons and can then be used to carry out conventional strike missions when the requirements for EA and SEAD sorties are reduced.
EA-18G Growler programme and development
The US Navy awarded a five-year system development and demonstration (SDD) contract in December 2003. A contract for the first four production aircraft was signed in July 2006.
The Growler aircraft’s first test flight was successfully completed in August 2006. This was followed by delivery of the first two test aircraft to the USN in September and November 2006. The first production aircraft was delivered to the USN in September 2007.
The first operational aircraft was delivered to NAS Whidbey Island in June 2008 and operational evaluation began in October 2008 onboard the USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) aircraft carrier. The SDD programme will conclude with an initial operational capability in late 2009 when the first of ten electronic attack squadrons (VAQ) will begin EA-18G operations. Deliveries of 88 Growler aircraft are planned to conclude in 2013. In service the aircraft will carry out a range of missions including stand-off and escort jamming, surveillance and strike.
Naval Air Systems Command PMA-265 is the US Navy acquisition office for the EA-18G. The Boeing Company is the prime contractor and weapon system integrator and Boeing also leads the EA-18G Growler industry team. Northrop Grumman is the principal subcontractor and airborne electronic attack subsystem integrator.
The EA-18G Growler fleet will be based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
AN / APX-111 IFF
- Weight: 20,60 kg
- Volume: 0,0134 m³
- Power consumption: 180 watts
- MTBF : 2500 hours
- MTTR : 15 minutes
- Error detection probability: 97%
- Transmission power: 0.5 kW
- Reception: -76 dBm
- IFF modes: 1, 2, 3 / A, C, 4, S (Mode 5 can be retrofitted)
- Range:> 185 km
- Transmission power: 1.4 kW
- Reception: -83 dBm
- Target sector: 70 ° × 60 ° (forward direction)
- Angular deviation: ± 2 °
- Distance resolution: <152 m
- Maximum targets: 32
- IFF modes: 1, 2, 3 / A, C, 4 (Mode 5 can be retrofitted)
- Waveform: monopulse
The two-seat cockpit has the pilot crew station and the electronic warfare officer’s advanced crew station. The advanced crew station is equipped with a touch-screen liquid crystal display (LCD) mission systems control and display, a 203mm x 23mm (8in x 10in) full-colour tactical LCD, and two multipurpose 127mm x 127mm (5in²) LCDs. The displays have tactical aircraft moving map capability (TAMMAC).
PilotElectronic warfare officer’s advanced crew station
Honeywell AMPD 5-by-5-inch display
The AMPD rugged display family consists of 5-by-5-inch forward avionics displays; 5-by-5-inch aft displays, and 8-by-10-inch avionics displays.
The AMPD replaces obsolete cathode ray tube (CRT)-based displays in legacy aircraft, and uses state-of-the-art active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology.
The displays are full color, high density, and can be used during the day, at night, and with the night vision imaging system (NVIS). Of the AMPD family, the 5-by-5-inch versions are for the F/A-18E/F/G models, and the 8-by-10-inch versions are for the F/A-18F/G aft cockpit. The 8-by-10-inch model includes a direct digital video input.
The displays provide symbology, raster, and hybrid display formats, and support mono and full-color modes. Source militaryaerospace.com
The aircraft is equipped with HOTAS hands-on throttle and stick control and full digital fly-by-wire controls.
The aircraft is fitted with a helmet-mounted cueing system developed by the Rockwell Collins and Elbit joint venture company, Vision Systems International.
The HMCS provides ‘first look, first shot’ high off-boresight weapons engagement capability.
The system enables the pilot to accurately direct or cue the weapons against enemy aircraft while performing high-g manoeuvres. The pilot points his head at the target and weapons are directed to the target. Aircraft and mission data such as targeting cues and aircraft performance parameters are displayed directly on the pilot’s visor.
U.S. Navy integrate tablet on EA-18 Growler: Here
The U.S. Navy’s recent demonstration with Boeing integrated a Windows-based tablet into the mission system for the EA-18 electronic attack aircraft for the first time. Photo courtesy of Boeing
The U.S. Navy and Boeing integrated a Windows-based tablet with a EA-18G Growler’s mission system in a recent demonstration of new targeting technologies.
The tablet was integrated with the electronic attack aircraft’s mission system along with an advanced targeting processor, high-bandwidth data link, and an open architecture. Following the integration, the aircraft showed an an enhanced ability to detect targets from long distances, and rapid information sharing capability.
Martin Baker SJU-5/6 zero/zero ejection seat
F-18 Hornet Ejection: Here
EA-18G electronic warfare
The EA-18G integrates advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities, developed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman, with the advanced strike capabilities, including advanced weapons, sensors and communications systems, installed on the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.
The block 1 Growler is fitted with up to three AN/ALQ-99 radar jamming pods, together with an AN/ALQ-218(V)2 receiver and a Raytheon AN/ALQ-227 communications countermeasures system both of which are mounted in the bay previously designated as the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft’s gun bay.
Three AN/ALQ-99 radar jamming pods
3 AN/ALQ-99 jammer
The AN/ALQ-99 jammer fitted on the block 1 Growler is supplied by the EDO Corporation. The AN/ALQ-99 receivers are installed in the tail of the aircraft and the AN/ALQ-99 pod houses the exciters and the high radiated power jamming transmitters.
Next generation jammer moves into $1B development phase: Here
Raytheon will supply 15 next generation jammer (NGJ) prototype pods over the next four years as the $7.4 billion US Navy programme transitions from the design into the engineering and manufacturing development phase.
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded the California-based defence contractor a $1 billion contract on 13 April. The award covers additional development ahead of a scheduled design freeze next year, followed by the delivery of 15 engineering development model pods and another 14 aero-mechanical test pods.
Raytheon next generation jammer AN/ALQ-249 (NGJ)
The Next Generation Jammer gives operators the ability to load a broader variety and higher capacity of electronic attacks, says Jeff Anderson, technical lead for Jammer Technique Optimization (JATO). “It used to take up to 90 days for a contractor to manufacture the design of one of these application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) chips,” Anderson says. “Now we can program our jammer to go against it within hours.”
The JATO group at Point Mugu and at the Naval Research Lab, and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab specialize in jamming technology along with other electronic warfare methods.
Next Generation Jammer design expanded at Naval Air Warfare Center Military Embedded Systems
Boeing to Provide AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) for EA-18G in $308M Deal: Here
Boeing will provide Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) integration services for the US Navy’s EA-18G aircraft in a deal worth $308 million. Work ordered in the contract includes the program’s engineering phase, as well as the design and manufacturing tasks for 12 ECP 6472 kits, NGJ pod testing, and additional supporting equipment. The NGJ is a Raytheon-led effort to improve airborne electronic warfare capabilities while replacing the existing AN/ALQ-99 pods used by EA-18G Growler aircraft. Industry partners are aiming to reach initial operating capability for the new pods in 2021.
EA-18G GROWLER’s AN/ALQ-249 NEXT GENERATION JAMMER DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES ON TRACK: Here
As reported by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) news release, the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B program office (PMA-234) completed a critical design review (CDR) for the AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Increment (Inc) 1 Mid-band program at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, in late April.
CDR determined that the design and development are on track to meet crucial warfighter requirements, and fabrication, demonstration and test could proceed.
The system is now in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase with Raytheon Space and Air Systems, the pod prime contractor, and Boeing, the EA-18G Growler aircraft integration prime contractor. The AN/ALQ-249 NGJ Inc 1 Mid-band capability, once fielded, will transform the way the U.S. Navy conducts electronic warfare.
The block 2 Growler is equipped with the APG-79 multi-mode radar with passive detection mode and active radar suppression, ALQ-218(V)2 digital radar warning receiver and ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser.
APG-79 multi-mode radar
APG-79 multi-mode radar with passive detection mode and active radar suppression
|Type: Radar||Altitude Max: 0 m|
|Range Max: 222.2 km||Altitude Min: 0 m|
|Range Min: 0.2 km||Generation: Late 2000s|
|Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Non-Coperative Target Recognition (NCTR) – Narrow Beam Interleaved Search and Track [Class Info], Continous Tracking Capability [Phased Array Radar], Track While Scan (TWS), Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)|
|Sensors / EW:|
|AN/APG-79 AESA – (F/A-18E/F, LPI) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air & Air-to-Surface, Medium-Range
Max Range: 222.2 km
The advanced tactical radar, the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar provides air-to-air and air-to-ground capability with detection, targeting, tracking and protection modes. The radar is supplied by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems at El Segundo, California.
The interleaved radar modes include real beam-mapping mode and synthetic aperture radar mode with air-to-air search, air-to-air tracking, sea surface search and ground moving target indication and tracking. The radar has an advanced four-channel receiver-exciter which provides wide bandwidth capability and the ability to generate a wide range of waveforms for electronic warfare, air-to-air and air-to-ground operation. It also has the ability to operate in multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground modes simultaneously.
Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 926 km
Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Max: 926 km
Range Min: 0 km
Generation: Early 2000s
The AN/ALQ-218(V)2, developed by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, is a variant of the Improved Capabilities (ICAP) III system deployed on the US Navy’s EA-6B Prowler aircraft. The system’s antennas are located on the port and starboard sides of the nose, the engine bays, in the wingtip pods and to the aft of the cockpit, providing 360° azimuthal cover. The passive countermeasures system provides threat detection, identification and location.
ALQ-218(V)2 digital radar warning receiver
ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser
ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser and associated equipmentsALE-47 countermeasures dispenser under F-18E – Image: michael_block
The ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser supplied by BAE Systems Electronics and Integrated Systems in Austin, Texas, can be used with US and NATO radar and infrared decoys.
The aircraft is armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and AGM-88 HARM high-speed anti-radiation missiles.
AIM-120 AMRAAM range 105-180 km at Mach 4
Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM)
AGM-88 HARM high-speed anti-radiation missiles Range: 150 kilometres; 92 miles (80 nmi) Speed: 2,280 km/h (1,420 mph)
The Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AGM-88E) provides the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Italian Air Force the latest and most advanced weapon system for engaging and destroying enemy air defenses and time-critical, mobile targets. AARGM is a supersonic, medium-range, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft, including all variants of the F/A-18, Tornado, EA-18G, F-16, EA-6B, and F-35 (external).
Designed to upgrade the AGM-88 High-Speed, Anti-Radiation Missile system (HARM), AARGM features an advanced, digital, anti-radiation homing sensor, millimeter wave (MMW) radar terminal seeker, precise Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) guidance, net-centric connectivity, and Weapon Impact Assessment transmit (WIA). Missile Impact Transmitter capability is available for approved customers. The missile offers extended-range engagement, as well as organic, in-cockpit emitter targeting capability and situational awareness.
New capabilities for the warfighter include:
- Anti-radar strike with advanced signal processing and vastly improved frequency coverage, detection range and field of view
- Time-critical, standoff strike with supersonic GPS/INS point-to-point or point-to-MMW-terminal guidance
- Missile-impact zone control to prevent collateral damage through tightly coupled, Digital Terrain Elevation Database-aided GPS/INS
- Counter-emitter shutdown through active MMW-radar terminal guidance
- WIA transmission prior-to-impact for bomb damage assessment
Orbital ATK is teamed with MBDA to provide this advanced, cost-effective weapon system to U.S. and approved allied customers.
In a surveillance-only configuration the Growler is armed with two AIM-120 air-to-air missiles for self defence. For stand-off jamming and escort jamming missions the Growler is armed with two AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles plus two AIM-120 missiles.
AGM-154 JSOW joint stand-off weapon
AGM-154 JSOW joint stand-off weapon (block 2 aircraft) low altitude release: 22 kilometres (12 nmi) high altitude release: 130 kilometres (70 nmi)
The AGM-154A (Formerly Advanced Interdiction Weapon System) is intended to provide a low cost, highly lethal glide weapon with a standoff capability. JSOW family of kinematically efficient, air-to-surface glide weapons, in the 1,000-lb class, provides standoff capabilities from 15 nautical miles (low altitude launch) to 40 nautical miles (high altitude launch). The JSOW will be used against a variety of land and sea targets and will operate from ranges outside enemy point defenses. The JSOW is a launch and leave weapon that employs a tightly coupled Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS), and is capable of day/night and adverse weather operations.
The JSOW uses inertial and global positioning system for midcourse navigation and imaging infra-red and datalink for terminal homing. The JSOW is just over 13 feet in length and weighs between 1000-1500 pounds. Extra flexibility has been engineered into the AGM-154A by its modular design, which allows several different submunitions, unitary warheads, or non-lethal payloads to be carried. The JSOW will be delivered in three variants, each of which uses a common air vehicle, or truck, while substituting various payloads.
AGM-154A (Baseline JSOW) The warhead of the AGM-154A consists of 145 BLU-97/B submunitions. Each bomblet is designed for multi-target in one payload. The bomblets have a shaped charge for armor defeat capability, a fragmenting case for material destruction, and a zirconium ring for incendiary effects.
AGM-154B (Anti-Armor) The warhead for the AGM-154B is the BLU-108/B from the Air Force’s Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) program. The JSOW will carry six BLU-108/B submunitions. Each submunition releases four projectiles (total of 24 per weapons) that use infrared sensors to detect targets. Upon detection, the projectile detonates, creating an explosively formed, shaped charge capable of penetrating reinforced armor targets.
AGM-154B – Image: media.defenceindustrydaily.com
AGM-154C (Unitary Variant) The AGM-154C will use a combination of an Imaging Infrared (IIR) terminal seeker and a two-way data link to achieve point target accuracy through aimpoint refinement and man-in-the-loop guidance. The AGM-154C will carry the BLU-111/B variant of the MK-82, 500- pound general purpose bomb, equipped with the FMU-152 Joint Programmable Fuze (JPF) and is designed to attack point targets. Source fas.org
In a strike configuration the Growler is armed with two each of AGM-88 HARM missiles, AGM-154 JSOW joint stand-off weapon (block 2 aircraft) and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles. While carrying out active transmitting jamming, the block 2 aircraft has the capability of handing off target data to other airborne, land or surface attack platforms.
EA-18G and F/A-18F design
The EA-18G Growler aircraft is a derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet with structural changes and the installation of avionics and mission systems, increasing the empty weight by 800kg to 15,000kg and increasing the carrier landing weight by 1,350kg to 21,775kg.
One of the external visual characteristics is the wingtip air-to-air missiles on the F/A-18 Super Hornet are normally replaced by wideband receiver pods on the EA-18 Growler and the other hardpoints carry a mix of electronic warfare pods and weapons.
The aircraft construction includes a light alloy multispar wing and high-strength graphite and epoxy panels and doors. The major contractor Northrop Grumman manufactures the rear and centre fuselage sections and EADS CASA is responsible for the manufacture of structural components such as the fuselage rear side panels, horizontal tail surfaces, flaps, the leading edge extensions, the rudders and the speed brakes.
The aircraft has retractable tricycle-type landing gear. The Menasco main landing gear is single wheeled and turns through 90° to retract rearward into the wheel bays mounted in the engine air ducts. The aircraft has a Messier-Dowty twin-wheel nose gear. The nose of the aircraft is fitted with a catapult launch tow bar. An arrester hook is installed under the rear section of the fuselage.
The Growler is powered by two F414-GE-400 afterburning turbofan engines, supplied by General Electric. A titanium engine firewall is incorporated into the aircraft structure. The engines are rated to supply 62kN or 98kN with afterburn.
Image: from the web
The aircraft’s power is provided by two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines from General Electric. The engines are an advanced derivative of the GE F404 engines installed on the Hornet. The air inlets have been enlarged to provide increased airflow into the engines.
The engines each provide 22,000lb thrust, with afterburn giving a maximum speed in excess of Mach 1.8.
The structural changes to the airframe on the F/E variant of the aircraft increase the internal fuel capacity by 3,600lb, a 33% higher fuel capacity than the F-18C/D variant. This extends the mission radius by up to 40%.
F414-GE-400 turbofan engines
General Electric F414 turbo-fan engines
The General Electric F414-GE-400 is a 22,000-pound class afterburning turbofan engine. The engine features an axial compressor with 3 fan stages and 7 high-pressure compressor stages, and 1 high-pressure and 1 low-pressure turbine stage. At a weight of 2,445 pounds, the F414-GE-400 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9. The F414 is one of the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft engines. It incorporates advanced technology with the proven design base of its F404 predecessor – for example the F414 features a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system – to provide the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler with a durable, reliable and easy-to-maintain engine.
Manufacturer: General Electric Co.
Thrust: 22,000 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 30
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 9
Compressor: Two-spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-7
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-1
Combustor Type: Annular
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: 154 in (3.91 m)
Diameter: 35 in (88.9 cm)
Dry Weight: 2,445 lbs (1,109 kg)
Platforms: F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; EA-18G Growler
Specifications (EA-18G Growler)
Data from Boeing brochure and U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F fact file.
- Crew: Two
- Length: 60 ft 1.25 in (18.31 m)
- Wingspan: 44 ft 8.5 in (13.62 m) (including wingtip-mounted pods)
- Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
- Wing area: 500 ft2 (46.5 m2)
- Empty weight: 33,094 lb (15,011 kg)
- Loaded weight: 48,000 lb (21,772 kg) ; recovery weight
- Max. takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,964 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
- Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) each
- Internal fuel capacity: 13,940 lb (6,323 kg)
- External fuel capacity: (3 x 480 gal tanks): 9,774 lb (4,420 kg)
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,900 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
- Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) ; clean plus two AIM-9s
- Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) ; for interdiction mission
- Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km) ; range without ordnance
- Service ceiling: >50,000 ft (15,000 m)
- Wing loading: 92.8 lb/ft2 (453 kg/m2)
- Thrust/weight: 0.93
- Guns: None
- Hardpoints: 9 total: 6× under-wing, and 3× under-fuselage with a capacity of 17,750 lb (8,050 kg) external fuel and ordnance
- Notes: The two wingtips missile launcher rail for AIM-9 Sidewinder, found on the E/F Super Hornet, have been replaced with AN/ALQ-218 detection pods, six removable under wing mounted hard points (inboard pylons will carry 480 gal fuel tanks, mid-board pylons will carry AN/ALQ-99 High Band Jamming Pods, and outboard pylon reserved for AGM-88 HARM missiles), two multi-mode conformal fuselage stations (AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles), 1 centerline fuselage removable hardpoint, for AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Jamming Pod.
- Weapons employment: Currently, Phase I of the Growler will carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles for self-protection at the two conformal fuselage stations and AGM-88 HARM missiles. The A/A-49A-2 gun system with the 20 mm M61A2 cannon has been removed and replaced by a pod of electronic boxes that control the AN/ALQ-218 and assist with the coordination AN/ALQ-99 jamming attacks.
- According to the possible weapon configurations which were revealed, EA-18G would also be capable of performing “time-sensitive” strike missions, carrying AGM-154 JSOW under wings, or multi-sensor reconnaissance missions with SHARP and AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR on centerline and left conformal weapon stations, respectively.
- Raytheon AN/APG-79 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar
- Mnemonics, Inc 990-1119-001 Electronic Attack Unit (EAU) AES Mission Computer
Source: wikipedia.org/naval-technology.com/from the net
Updated May 22, 2017